Thursday, 8 June 2017

End the Arab Occupation and Genocide in Darfur

Well before the Syrian civil war began grabbing headlines, the most talked-about part of the world in which genocide was being committed was a place called Darfur, an arid region located in the west of the Republic of Sudan. For well over a decade, the Sudanese government has been brutally murdering the indigenous African inhabitants of Darfur, punishing them for rebelling against their Arab overlords. The Sudanese president, Omar Al-Bashir, has been indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court, but right now there is little chance that he will face justice. Indeed, efforts to stop the genocide in Darfur have been severely curtailed by the same people who protect Syria's Bashar Al-Assad. I am referring of course to the dictatorial regimes of Russia and China. 

Sudan is a textbook example of Arab, Muslim occupation and oppression of indigenous populations. The country is ruled by an Arab-dominated Islamic Fundamentalist government. Like all the Arab-ruled states of North Africa, Sudan has a large population of indigenous peoples, who lived there long before the Arab, Islamic conquests took place. Darfur is one of three regions in the country chaffing under the Islamist, Arab rulers based in Sudan's capital, Khartoum. The name Darfur literally translates as house of the Fur, who are one of the indigenous, non-Arab, African peoples currently rebelling against the central government. The other two regions are the Sudanese coast, largely populated by the Beja, another indigenous, non-Arab, African people, and northern Sudan, largely populated by the Nubians, whose territory is split between the Republic of Sudan and the Arab Republic of Egypt. Sudan's Islamist Arab government also once controlled what is now the Republic of South Sudan, home to an indigenous African population of largely Christian and animist peoples. But six years ago, after decades of bloody struggle, the people of South Sudan finally gained independence and the Islamist Arab occupation of their land ended. It can end in Darfur, too.  

I would argue that ending the conflict in Darfur does not just mean ending the genocide. It also means ridding the region of the Khartoum-based, Islamist Arab oppressors who are responsible for that genocide in the first place. The indigenous African people of Darfur deserve no less than what the people of South Sudan got - Independence.

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